Soil Sampling - Val di Sole World Champs DH Chaos

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The steep, dusty, rough Val di Sole downhill track dished out a beating today at the first practice session for the 2016 World Championships. Finn Iles crashed early and was helicoptered off the mountain (reported ok but unsure about racing) and Gee Atherton's injured shoulder could not withstand the abuse, forcing him to give up his Great Britain team spot to Bernard Kerr. Two more days of practice await before finals, so it's a battle of attrition. Sven Martin, Duncan Philpott, @maddogboris and Dan Hearn deliver from the trenches.

If you're at Val di Sole on Saturday, get to the SRAM pits at 5pm for BoXXer World Champs!


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  • jeff.brines

    9/9/2016 7:16 AM

    Man. We're learning nothing. If this was any mainstream sport, Finn would be sitting this race out without a doubt. He's risking the rest of his life by even considering a ride. To add, a neck injury is scary by itself (I know well!). I know, we as mountain bikers (and racers) don't plan to live to 100, but still, his brain needs to rest. He shouldn't even have the option to race. The UCI is going to be slow to do anything, so I feel strongly all the teams should enter into a gentlemen's agreement. If Peaty got us all to wear visors and the skinsuits went away, we most certainly can figure out this one. Here. I'll start with rule one...If you break your helmet, the rule should be YOU DO NOT RACE. Sorry for the rant, I'm passionate about this one...

  • Sven Martin

    9/9/2016 4:46 PM

    Just a note. He was checked by head neck and back specialists. Scans and X-rays. Pretty conclusive and scientific. Given the clear. But I do agree in part in fact with all that you are saying, but in Finns case they checked and monitored him pretty well. No sign of concussion either at time of crash (I was there) or after

  • jeff.brines

    9/9/2016 5:10 PM

    (Typing on iPhone at trail head...sorry for typos and grammar errors)


    I mean this with the utmost respect. I love your work and just think you are an all around awesome guy.

    While I'm happy to hear his neck and back have checked out, I feel the other part of what you wrote goes to further illustrate our industry's antiquated take on concussion issues.

    One of the things that is so hard about a concussion is there isn't a good way to say "yup, this is a concussion". The symptom list is huge, and there is no "concussion x Ray".

    We as athletes have so much on the line, so many neurochemicals running around our brain, and using the damaged instrument to asses if it's damaged (see the problem?).

    Until we have better technology, more research etc the subjectivity to concussion is a lot of the problem.

    Its for this reason in the nfl, when a player has a hard helmet to helmet hit they undergo evaluation which includes some ***baseline testing***. That would be the only way to really clear Finn for this race. Not only does HE have to be aware of what to look for, his team manager does too. And an underlying test needs to be passed to show "normal brain function".

    This is obviously impossible right now...we have no baseline and we aren't trained for what to *really* look for in a rider as to if her she is concussed. the symptoms we are trained to look for are often signs of a more severe head injury.

    In Finns case I would bet a lot of money the force it takes to break a helmet like that more than exceeds that of "concussion."

    It's a tricky thing. And in a way you saying what you said helped illuminate a lot of the problem we have today...

  • Big Bird

    9/8/2016 5:58 PM

    Tracy. You make the racing fun. Bruiser.

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